Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, and Olivier Giroud out of the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Liverpool.

Wenger was speaking after his team thumped Norwegian side Viking FK 8-0 with the likes of Joel Campbell, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla all getting on the scoresheet.

But Wenger did have some bad news for Arsenal fans ahead of the start of the new campaign.

When asked if Ozil, Koscielny, and Giroud would be available for the Premier League opener he said: “Liverpool would come too early.”

But he did offer an update on Santi Cazorla who came through the full 90 minutes against Viking.

He added: “It’s the first time he’s played 90 minutes for a long, long time because he’s basically been out since November.

“He played the last game of the season and 90 minutes today. Let’s see how he recovers from that. Of course, we need him back in good shape.

“He’s a pleasure to watch, especially when it’s a demonstration like tonight.

“He’s one of the few players that you don’t know whether they’re right or left footed. It’s good that he came through well. We have no injuries tonight so that’s positive.”

And there was also pleasing news regarding Jack Wilshere who didn’t travel to Norway with the squad after suffering a knee injury.

Wenger said: “Jack has started running again today. He will train next week.”    

Arsenal will see their Premier League campaign underway at the Emirates against Liverpool on Sunday, August 14.

The Gunners will be looking to win the title for the first time since 2004.

On Sunday in Sweden, Arsene Wenger will get an early sense of Arsenal’s Premier League competition for 2016-17 when his side meets Manchester City in a friendly, ahead of what may transpire to be the Frenchman’s final campaign as Arsenal manager.

In two months, the French manager will mark 20 years in charge: A phenomenal achievement and quite possibly the last of its kind anywhere in football, which is increasingly knee-jerk and obsessed with the short-term. But he is also entering the final year of his contract.


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